Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Affleck wins the DGA. Confusion continues.

Any suspicions that this year’s Oscars were about to take a turn for the normal were  confounded when Argo won the top prize at the Director’s Guild of America on Saturday night. Mind you, in any usual year, events of …

Sun, Feb 3, 2013, 12:38

   

Any suspicions that this year’s Oscars were about to take a turn for the normal were  confounded when Argo won the top prize at the Director’s Guild of America on Saturday night. Mind you, in any usual year, events of the last month would have made Affleck’s victory inevitable. The film has, after all, won top prizes at the Producers Guild, the Screen Actors Guild, the People’s Choice and the Golden Globes.   But (as you are now sick of hearing) the film failed to secure even a nomination for best director at the Oscars. Remember that those nominations are voted for by the director’s branch of the Academy. The Guild does take in more voters than the Academy. Directors of community television in Topeka are entitled to apply to the DGA. The film-makers in the Academy are, by contrast, expected to have achieved some sort of distinction in film. We, nonetheless, find ourselves in puzzling territory. In the last 64 years, 50 of the DGA winners went on to win the best picture Oscar. ”I don’t think that this makes me a real director, but I think it means I’m on my way,”  Ben said.

There is now little doubt that Argo has passed out Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln to become runaway favourite. Several bizarre scenarios announce themselves. It is perfectly possible (some would say likely) that Lincoln — ahead with 12 Oscar nominations — could win best director (Affleck not nominated), best actor (Daniel Day-Lewis miles ahead, no nominees for Argo), best supporting actor (Tommy Lee-Jones favourite) and best adapted screenplay (Tony Kushner still just-about favourite), but lose best film to the season’s roller-coaster. That’s to say  it will be declared the best acted, best directed and best written film, but not the actual best film. The only one of the major awards — aside from best film, of course — where Argo looks to have the edge on Lincoln is best film editing (and that’s more to do with pace than any careful study of montage). Like we said, weird times.

 

 

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